a sanctuary for things

        Yesterday, I dropped by the spare room in our backyard. There are shrubs all around it and the facade is covered with growing veins. In the same plot where the room stands is an old mango tree. We used to climb up that tree and lean on its trunk when we played hide-and-seek.

 

         I often avoid barging in. And I have always believed that the room is guarded by trunks and leaves to shelter the possessions that belonged to unknown people. Clutter and discarded things piled up the corners and occupied worn-out cupboards. 

        They sit there, as if at rest, and breathe with the plants that embrace its abode. There is nothing to see, mother tells me. My little brother says otherwise. And perhaps this is the reason why he often tells me that I was frightened to come in. Most of our dated belongings were stored along with baggage we’ve gathered from the past residents. 

         Upon entering, I am met with damaged paraphernalia. Some I can recognize, others I cannot seem to name.

 


        I can only recall a few things. Here, I will make an inventory: a bike my father has gifted to us, a ripped hammock, rusty pots and pans of our deceased grandfather, and cut-up trunks from our favorite mango tree that fell because of a typhoon. 

 


            Hidden behind a tower of dusty chairs is a framed picture of Jesus. It hangs on the wall collecting dust. I don't remember who owns it. I’ve never asked why it was kept in the room. I have not come across pictures or albums of any kind. It’s the only face you can identify in the space. Everything else seemed lifeless.

 


            I’ve noticed that religious figures would be kept above hospital beds. I can only imagine why it’s there.